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Posts tagged “film lens

The Winds of Change

Welp: it’s official: I’m a grandma!

Actually, I’ve been a grandma for some time. I have a rocking grandson, Roman, whom I’ll probably never meet, unfortunately. Long story. I’ll try to explain: Be patient, dear reader. I’m about to tell you a story that is incomprehensible. Indescribable. So hard to believe that you may think I’m making it up. I assure you. It’s all true. Read on…

The Scoop: I was framed by an evil (former) mother-in-law, Sandy, who set up myself and my family to blatantly steal my kids. She framed my Dad for heinous crimes he did not commit (against them), and when that didn’t work, the government (the hellish CPS) switched tracks and went directly after me instead. What ensued was a decade of the most hellish experiences I’ve ever endured. Having your children ripped away from you and then brainwashed to believe you’re a monster, well…all I can say is karma is REAL, (Sandy and) Davey. It’s a real deal and your cup is gonna runneth over, honey.

So, to make a long story even longer, my brilliant daughter, Moriah PEACE- who I’ve heard is my virtual twin in every way (and I believe it), pretends I’m dead and I pretty much do the same with her. Sad situation, but I did fight the good fight for 10-12 long years.

I never told her this, but Davey remembers. (Davey is the former foster mother who continued my former mother-in-law’s vicious course by plotting to sever my parental rights so she could adopt Moriah. The attack on my entire family was so vicious, so hideous…we all endured a decade of trauma- all so a greedy woman could steal a baby. TRUTH.)

I can’t go into the details too much- out of respect for everyone involved, but what started this entire evil ball rolling is something that nobody knows- even to this day. (Except for my children. I shared it with them.) Nobody, except them, myself, and Sandy know. One day, I was at Sandy’s house. She wasn’t the paternal grandma. My x-husband (James) had cheated on me while in the Navy, so I repaid him the deed and ended up getting pregnant with my Italian lover’s baby at the time. I explained to her that my child was not her son’s baby. She explained that she didn’t care and that she’d love her just the same.  I was so naive! We bonded during that time, and I ended up confiding in her with a secret that ultimately destroyed almost anyone whose ears it touched.

I shared with her that I had been molested as a child. Sigh. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. I was confused. I was pregnant, hormonal, scared, and appreciated her motherly bonding at the time and it sort of just came rolling out. Had I known the damage that that one act would have caused, I’d never had uttered a breath of a word! Alas, I did, and it was too late. (Unfortunately, by the time my girls landed at the last foster home, Davey’s, she continued what Sandy had initially begun, because you see, she too used to work for the system and she too knew that the quickest way to adopt a foster child is to accuse the mother, father, or family member of molesting the child. She took that ball and RAN with it. And that’s how Davey ended up with those claims. After learning about that info. from the case, she began rehearsing my girls to accuse several of my family members of “molesting them”. They gave my innocent children “anatomically correct” NAKED dolls to “play with” to see what they would do. if that isn’t perverted I don’t know what is.)

Back to Sandy. I trusted her. I believed her when she said, “You can tell me, Birg!” So I shared with her the awful thing that happened to me as a child. She ended up taking that information months later and using it to build a case with CPS by accusing a certain family member of molesting my child. It wasn’t true: nobody molested my child. I took my child straight to the hospital and had tests run, etc. and took the report straight to CPS, showing them that my daughter indeed had not been molested. It mattered not. Sandy used to work for the system so she knew exactly what to do to gain access to my child while suspending ours. She knew all the tricks in the book.

The level of betrayal I experienced was indescribable. She knew that I was the one who was molested, yet she used the information to gain access to my child, while simultaneously ceasing access for myself and my entire family. They stated that since they had to open an investigation, our rights were “temporarily” suspended. All of us. And so began the longest court battle of my life.

The whole case was like a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. As my kids were shuffled around from foster home to foster home, the case grew larger and larger. The harder I fought, the worse it got- for everyone. It was like this crazy ball rolling down a hill at high speed- collecting every stone or blade of grass in its path. The case was comprised of and built upon trumped-up lies. Just total garbage.

After 10+ years of a hell I cannot describe, one day, I asked a police officer where the foster parents lived. My Mom was with me. I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere around them, but only by what I can describe as a miracle, the police officer told me right away where they lived. He gave me their address. (He totally wasn’t allowed to do that.)

My Mom and I drove right up to the foster parents’ house. I knew she wanted to adopt Moriah, and frankly, I was ready for it all to just go away by that point; I had two other children that needed protecting from these monsters. I knew that as long as I continued to fight to bring my children home, the foster mother (Davey) would continue to poison them against me, so, I did what any loving mother would do: I sacrificed myself.

I knocked on the door. Davey came out and her eyes were as big as saucers. She couldn’t believe I was standing on her doorstep. I asked her if we could speak- off the record- just the two of us. She complied and we sat on her steps and smoked a cigarette together. (I still smoked back then.)

I explained that I in no way wanted to let her adopt Moriah, but I wanted Moriah to be able to be happy (and to live in a home which wasn’t toxic, and being told what to say for “the agenda”.)  Being told her mother was a monster. Being told terrible things were done to her that absolutely were not. Davey pulled some very evil crap. We both knew it. I used to think that Davey was actually pure evil, I really did. Who could do that to a child? THAT is child abuse.

But now I realize that she had simply fallen in love with Moriah and wanted her at all costs. She was ok to condition my child if it meant getting her in the end. She had conditioned herself to believe the very stuff she was slinging, because it eased her conscience. She could sleep at night if she believed in her “crusade”; if she told herself that she was “protecting Moriah from a terrible person”- it was much easier for her to follow through with it all.

So, considering all of those things, I hated her a tad bit less. I don’t blame her for wanting Moriah. Moriah was a special baby. Her name “Moriah” actually translates as “The place of skulls”, AKA “Golgotha”, it’s Biblical. Mount Moriah (in the Bible) was the mountain that Abraham took his son, Isaac, up on, to be tested. God instructed Abraham to slaughter Isaac, so he tied him up on an altar, drew out his scythe, and just as he was getting ready to strike, an angel of the Lord stopped his hand. God was pleased for He knew that Abraham would choose to follow Him (God) anywhere, even if it meant sacrificing his only son.

This is why I named her Moriah Peace. Because while Abraham was traveling up one side of the mountain, distraught, God had already sent two rams up the other side- at the same time- so that when he (Abraham) passed the test, he looked over and saw a ram caught in the thicket. God had prepared a proper sacrifice all along! The fear and terror melted away and Abraham was filled with an incredible new peace he’d never known.

Hence her name, Moriah Peace. Who knows, maybe someday she’ll see this and understand that her name was indeed prophetic, and I too had to lay her on the altar and give her back to God. It was not easy.

When talking with Davey that day, I told her that I needed to protect my two other children I had had since the long ordeal had begun, ten years before. It’s true that I hated Davey vehemently for what she did to Moriah (and my other daughter, who was taken from me as well), but at that point, it was about doing what I could to protect Moriah from any more vicious foster parent-adoption games. All foster parents know and understand that if you want to sever the birth mother’s or father’s parental rights, you simply accuse somebody in the family of molesting the child. Everybody knows that.

Her husband was running for Sheriff every year on TV and rubbing elbows with all the judges and I was a poor Mom, with little money, fighting every year for my children’s return the only way I knew how- with my sheer grit and determination. You do the math: the odds were not in my favour. I had no less than 4 breakdowns in the process. It absolutely destroyed me- for years. I literally begged God for cancer and death. I know. Not cool. But I can’t describe the level of pain and trauma that I lived in- year in, year out. People have absolutely no idea the hell I’ve lived through. Not a clue.

After recovering from each breakdown, I got right back in the ring. Moriah will never know the sacrifices I made for her, or how I suffered to simply try and bring her home. We had only shared 8 months together before she was taken, but we had bonded so strongly! We used to play a very sweet game. I’d put her in her car seat parallel from me, in the back, so that I could turn around quickly and randomly (while driving) with a surprised face- eyes and mouth wide open- smiling. She would bust out laughing hysterically every time. It was the cutest thing ever. She was such a sweet baby. And that kid loved to ride in that car! If I had to guess, I’d bet she loves to just get in her car and drive- radio on- wind blowing her hair so she can feel free for a while. How do I know that? Right…the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So back to that day, in the driveway.

I told Davey that all I cared about was Moriah’s happiness. After all, all she knew was that she was in a “good home” with good food, clean clothes, etc. and had her needs met. That’s it. She didn’t know or understand the political sharks who fed upon her monetarily- including the foster parents. Everybody made a lot of money off of her! Thousands per month.

I explained to Davey that if I could speak to Moriah personally, I would ask her what she wanted. I already knew what the answer would be, but I needed to hear it for myself. I respect every person’s autonomy and right to decide for themselves what they want- regardless of their age. The heart knows what the heart wants! Besides, I could’ve been the Easter bunny at that point. She really didn’t know me. And, we had all suffered enough.

Davey blew my mind and actually went in and retrieved Moriah. She brought her out and Moriah was sooooo excited. She was smiling and bouncing and SO happy to see me. Also, she showed off her new tooth she had just lost. I reminded myself that I couldn’t go into deep topics or try to explain what was really  going on. I needed to remember that she was clueless about everything- all the political garbage and evil doings of others. She had no idea and I wanted it to be kept that way.

So, I asked her, “Moriah, do you like living here?” And she said, “Yes!” And I said, ‘Do you want to live here forever?” And she again said, “Yes!” As I knew she would. And I asked her the final question, “Do you want to have the last name Harrod like everybody else?” And she again shouted, “Yes!” And it was a done deal.

I told Davey that I would move forward immediately with the adoption process with her. I’d work with her and sign off on any paperwork necessary so she could be adopted. Only then could she live in a truly healthy environment with no games  or selfish agendas attached. Davey looked at me and said, “You’ll never know what a gift this is, Birgitta. You are blessing me so much.” And we both cried together.

I told Davey to take good care of Moriah and gave her (Davey) a hug, despite our history. I looked at Moriah and said, “Be good for your Mommy, ok?” To this day, that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life- calling another woman “Mommy” for my daughter’s sake. That absolutely crushed me. Whew…..no words. That was my final gift to her.

I got back in the car with my Mom and as soon as I was out of sight, I slid down into the floorboard and just bawled my head off….for hours. I was definitely not ok for a long time after that.

So yeah. Some time back Moriah had a son, Roman. Naturally, I’m not even a memory in anyone’s mind in that loop- not at all. But isn’t that the way the cookie crumbles? Some women would’ve clawed their way in that direction to try and see their only grandson, but I’ve always respected Moriah’s privacy. I’ve never sought her out or tried to explain anything. As a matter of fact, this is the first post that I’ve posted about that situation at all. I’ve exercised incredible restraint to not blast anybody or air out dirty laundry about all of that, etc.

That said, I do reserve the right to be able to tell my own story. And any parent’s story involves their child or children. That doesn’t mean they don’t get to tell their own story though. Everybody has their own truth and their own version of the truth. And everybody has the right to express their own truth. Including me.

So, despite having a grandson, I’ve been like the Virgin Queen- ha. (Or should I say, the Virgin Grandma?) Having a child that you can’t be with is hell. Having a grandchild that you can’t be with or will never know is its own hell too. This is why I’m so excited to share the news that I am now a grandma (again) and will be going to see my new grandson tomorrow for the first time. 🙂 My son, Brian, just had a baby and his name is Matthias Isaac. I’m so proud of him! He’s going to be such a good Dad because he’s a great person. Loving, kind, sensitive, thoughtful, merciful, and freaking brilliant. He is an incredible person, and I’m proud to be his Mom. 🙂

I had no intention of writing all of that. It just sort of spilled out. Perhaps it was just time.
I am Gam Gam and Josh is Pee Paw. 🙂 I’m over the moon with love and joy!

I’ll make another post somewhat soon (ish) and post a few pics of my beautiful grandbaby, who looks so much like his father. Life is so strange and beautiful and dark and scary and bold and bright- all of it. No matter who the story is about or how it’s told, it always comes full circle. That’s the law of Love and Life. ❤

My circle is complete. I used to long for the day when I could cross the river to the other side and simply exhale. The grass certainly isn’t greener on this side. But it sure as hell is a lot prettier. 🙂

To purchase print, click here:

Title: “Crossing Over”
Location: Perrin Park, 10.28.19. Taken early on a cold, foggy, October morning.
Lens: Carl Zeiss jena Flektogon- vintage film lens- imported from Bulgariafor EtsySMALLER

 


Another Day, Another Semester

Life has simply been whizzing by at the speed of sound, lately. Today, I started another semester and as much as I wanted to take it easy and take only one course, I took two (again). At the Master’s level, this is considered full-time. My undergrad. years were so much easier! I had tons to read each week, of course, and tests at the end of each week, but at least I didn’t have research to do (on this level) and the research papers never end; they really don’t.

I’ve spent the past week in bed, nursing a pulled muscle in my back. For some unknown reason I thought it’d be a good idea to touch my nose to my knees- like I did when I trained as a cross-country runner from ages 9-12. Um, not a great idea! I’m 48, not 28. 😉

Yesterday I had planned to stay in bed, healing my back, but in all honesty, I was all better. I just  wanted to stay in bed- I’m not going to lie! Josh challenged me to get out and grab some fresh shots, seeing how we were hit with a freak-blizzard on the 2nd official day of spring. So, I did, and came up with these:

Cemetery- Super TAk 50 MM f/4-film. Shot in monochrome. 8th street.
IMG_0945

IMG_0967Nothing new to add; just wanted to check in and leave a few words as a “time marker”. I miss my kids SO MUCH. Especially Brian. MAN I love that kid….I love them all, but he’s my only son. My kids own my heart and it hurts so much to let them go! But as a parent, life becomes a long succession of always letting them go. Again and again. You just have to work around it and make your happiness and peace with it, through it, and around it. Enjoy what love and laughter you have and appreciate the good times when they come. It’s taken me a long time to understand that pain is also a friend. Darkness and loneliness make the good times that much better.

oh. And speaking of bad times, perimenopause has me in its wretched teeth and has me sweating all throughout the day. It’s just God-awful. The hot flashes! 20 times per day. I swear, they are HORRIBLE. I just got out of the shower and I’m already drenched.

NOT FUN.

And here’s my 8 pic pano. of the cemetery that has absolutely nothing do with anything that I’m saying. Again- “time marker”. My blog is my little time capsule. I can tell where I was in my life (at whatever time) by the pics I take. I appreciate my ever-changing style too though, so this blog is a good way to track my growth and artistic evolution.

Until next time!

8 pic stitched-pano. Super-tak 50 MM f/4- film- cemetery- 8th. st.
cemeterypanoSTITCH

 


Eating Good in the Hood

It’s raining non-stop out there. It’s supposed to continue raining all day, all day tomorrow, and then cease on Sunday. It’s already flooding downtown. Josh and I fell asleep to the soft pitter patter of the rain- it’s so soothing at night.

Our Vegan diet/lifestyle is going well still. We’ve been getting quite creative in the kitchen! Here are a few examples of our recent culinary creations:

Beer-battered, deep-fried, “Fish” Tacos (fish = tofu) with Pickled Red Onions and Chipotle mayo w/ cilantro and lime
fish tacos

Homemade Veggie-sausage pizza with Parmesan and Mozzarella “cheeses”,  sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, scallions,  and shitake and portabella mushrooms
PizxaFB

And last night’s amaaazing Purple Cabbage, Carrots, Scallions, Portabella mushrooms, and veggie sausage egg rolls with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chile oil, and sesame oil. THE BOMB.
IMG_0580

School is going well still. Much work to do over the next two weeks! Some videos I have to make as well- book reports, case studies to analyze- ugh. Work, work, work. But two weeks to go, and then I’ll be on my mid-semester break. Still deciding if I want to go full-time or part-time next semester.

I miss my kids. Terribly. I haven’t seen Brianna since Thanksgiving. She’s living somewhere in Louisville- that’s all I know. We were basically each other’s shadow when she lived here, so I respect her fierce privacy. I’m the same way. Just because my car is in the driveway doesn’t mean I’ll answer the door if you knock! I may watch you walk away while I peek out the window, wishing we could’ve chatted, but not really. We all have our little quirks- that’s mine.

I miss my Bri- Bri too. It seems like just yesterday that he and all of his friends were on the other side of the living room wall- drawing on the walls with magic markers after having a wee bit too much to drink. I’d make an extra round of supper and fill the plates with food and deliver them to him and his hungry friends. Man I miss that! It’s so quiet here now. All the kids are gone…and all the kids are grown- living their own lives and doing their own things. It’s so great, but so painful too sometimes. Ahh…but that’s part of life.

Suddenly, the house feels so much emptier…but the rain is like a cloak that covers me with a shroud of privacy. That’s probably why I love the rain the most. It slows the world down…

Pics from my walk a few days ago- before the rain. Test-driving the new Vivitar 70-210 3.5 SMC macro zoom film- KILLER LENS!

Circlies
CoolWood2
Grass2
lizard
YouandMe
redcircles
Softly2
statuefb


Water Therapy

Helios 44-2 film lens + digital Canon Rebel XSI RainMJ


Bedhead

Image may be purchased HERE
Stretched Canvas/Gallery Wrap

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 film
So in love with black and white!
dandy


Today I Fell in Love

Again!

This time, it was with the cherry blossoms outside of a church down the street from my Mom’s house:

TodayIFellinLove

I can’t explain what was happening when I was taking pics today. I felt high, literally. I’ve always been really drawn to these blossoms. When I’m underneath them and zooming in close and there are hundreds of them swirling all around my head in the breeze, it’s like a drug to me. The bokeh (blurry stuff in a pic) goes in and out of focus all around the blossoms when I see them through the lens- it’s a really heady experience.

And speaking of falling in love, I think it’s funny, that expression, “falling in love”. People generally mean with another person. But I was thinking today as I was driving, “Why do we have to fall in love with a person? Why can’t we fall in love with the sky? Or cherry blossoms?”

I’m betting just being around all of these blossoms (in the light drizzling rain) released loads of endorphins. I was smiling and felt like a kid again. So yeah. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with these blossoms today. 🙂

I also noticed when I was driving today that I don’t really think about Josh any more. Days go by and he won’t even cross my mind. I’m soooooo happy about that. It doesn’t hurt any more.

Yeah. I’ve been crazy happy lately. Not sure how long this is going to last, but it’s so good to be feeling ALIVE again.

Cherry BlossomsmjCarl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 film


Making the Grades

So my midterm results are in:

Behavioral Neuroscience exam: 233/250
Cognitive Psychology exam: 142/160

Overall results: two strong A’s in both classes.

Go me! Go me! And today is the first day of spring break. I’m alright with that.

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4/ film lens Ohio River Construction- down by the riverside

Crane


Specimen

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon (film) 35/2.4/bedroom lamp
Specimen


The Big Smoke

My beautiful son, Brian, drinking in the smoke. Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 film/Canon Rebel XSI
DrinkingintheSmokeMJ


Peach Wine, a Little Bit of Cussing and Heart Warming Sunshine

So Josh and I decided that we would spend the afternoon out doing something spontaneous and adventurous. Before I became a school drone, I used to go out and take pictures of abandoned buildings (and get cussed at and threatened and lots of times the police were involved) and stuff. So, we wanted to go and do new things today. The weather was absolutely stunning and what better place to go than to a winery in the country?

It was a bit past five and they closed at six so we blazed a path to Huber’s Orchard. This story just wouldn’t be typical if some type of cussing weren’t involved- that’s usually what happens when you’re minding your own business with your camera. Josh and I had bought two bottles of fresh wine: Peach, and Catawba Rose (the latter being our favourite). So we’d had a small cup each, and I parked my car on the side of the pumpkin patch and hopped out for a quick shot as we were leaving. I walked over to the edge of the road- close to our Rodeo/vehicle- and laid down on my belly to get a worm’s eye view of a bashed open pumpkin. Lo and behold, just above my camera view, a hayride truck was coming our way and I pointed my camera toward it as it approached us for a quick shot.

The driver yells at me, “The field is closed!” He’d slowed down to a complete stop with 15 people or so, all sitting on the back. He thought I was picking pumpkins. So I hopped up (literally, I hopped) and hopped again 3 big leaps (like a bunny rabbit) over to the actual road, and yelled, “I’m not in the field now!” I was actually laughing because I thought it was all a bit silly.

He looked at me, sort of quizzically, and drove off. That should’ve been the end of that.  I wasn’t breaking any rules. But no. No. No. No. A sassy-mouthed broad had to say- loud enough for me to here her- “I would have to slap that girl.”

Yep.

And so I flipped her off (naturally) and replied, “Here ya go, slap that!”

And that was the end of that.

But here’s some pics from the rest of the afternoon: warm country air, a lazy Sunday afternoon, a really beautiful man and some good fall wine. It really doesn’t get much better. 🙂

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 film lens/natural lighting/Canon Rebel XSI

mjcollageJosh